Nancy's Books

Sunday, May 19, 2013

Word Choice/Call of Submissions

This article is the first of a series.

We’ve all heard the expression, There are two sides to every story. Let’s look at this with a literal interpretation. The first side is the idea we’re presenting to the reader. That’s the plot, the story. The second side is the way in which we present or write the story. The goal is to build words into sentences and paragraphs that pique the interest of the reader.

Choosing the right word is critical to making a phrase or sentence jump and jive, strut and swagger, with rhythm—or glide with ease like a puffy, white cloud sailing, sliding, slipping across the sky. A rich, robust vocabulary creates images that perfectly detail the action. Word choice should be clear and concise. Mark Twain said it best:  The difference between the precise word and one that comes close is the difference between lightning and a lightning bug.

Overused words and clichés [hungry as a bear, thin as a rail] are dull and boring. They add no excitement to the text, so avoid clichés as you would a thin-as-a-rail, hungry bear.

In my next blog I’ll showcase ways for writers to make the best word choices.

Call for submissions for adult writers: 


After the success of Chicken Soup for the Soul: Think Positive, our bestselling book for adults, we decided to make a version for children too. That’s the goal of Chicken Soup for the Soul: Think Positive for Kids — to start conversations with children about core values, good examples, making good decisions, and having the courage to do the right thing. It is geared for children 12 and under. We’d like to keep stories in the 500-1200 word range. We are looking for stories from your own childhood, or about children you know, written in the first person, that both entertain and educate children, and that expose them to positive thinking and good values. If your story is chosen, you will be a published author and your bio will be printed in the book if you so choose. You will also receive a check for $200 and 10 free copies of your book, worth more than $100.
Deadline June 30, 2013.

Details at

Check out more contests on my blog:


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